ARIZONA CARDINALS

Patrick Peterson explains the deception before his INT vs. Panthers

Oct 6, 2020, 10:04 AM

Finding positives from the Arizona Cardinals’ loss on Sunday to the Carolina Panthers isn’t easy. Then again, they were so few that the bright spots stood out.

Patrick Peterson’s interception of Teddy Bridgewater early in the second quarter got Arizona back in the game — albeit briefly.

And it came from a fun coverage scheme that saw Peterson drop into coverage like a safety after feigning cornerback duties before the snap. On Peterson’s All Things Covered podcast with co-host Bryant McFadden, the Cardinals corner explained the scheme and his duties in detail.

“I can’t tell you the exact call we was in … I had to play a tight half technique, which will make me seven yards (in) depth playing the corner position, but at the snap of the ball having to get back to about 12 to 15 yards depth, two yards inside the numbers,” Peterson explained. “It’s a great boundary call because I don’t have to run extremely too far. That one … I had to bust my butt a little bit harder to get to my landmark, because I had three receivers in my area.

“That (had) me and the safety pretty much switch responsibilities.”

Peterson called the route pattern an 87 seam. The outside receiver crosses in the middle at a shallow depth and the tight end ran a post, while the slot receiver ran a seam route up the middle.

Arizona middle linebacker Jordan Hicks tracked the seam route, and the post throw to tight end Ian Thomas was rushed with Cardinals safety Deionte Thompson blitzing in the face of Bridgewater.

“We was in the perfect call for that route combination,” Peterson said. “The slot receiver just ran a seam, which the Mike linebacker was running up the seam with — so I didn’t have to worry about the seam route. I knew I had to bust my butt and get great depth where I could get my eyes back on Teddy and also dissect the route.

“He threw it right to me. I wish I had two more feet of in bounds to work with because I definitely would have taken that to the house.”

Here’s the bird’s eye view to see Peterson dropping deeper into coverage at the bottom of the screen.

Obviously, things didn’t go so well before that point or after.

The pick helped the Cardinals get on the board after falling two touchdowns behind, but their defense couldn’t make plays all afternoon, surrendering seven of 11 third-down conversions.

Peterson, who had five tackles, got tagged by Pro Football Focus with a 49.3 coverage rating. PFF credited five targeted receivers for catching six balls for 70 yards with Peterson in coverage, though apparent zone miscommunications and pick plays contributed to that.

It also didn’t help Peterson or the backend that Arizona got no sacks and hit Bridgewater just three times.

The interception at least took the Cardinals out of lone company, as the 0-4 Houston Texans are the only team in the NFL without an interception through Week 4.

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